India: an Initiative for Empowerment of Tribal Women
India , October, 29 2016 -
A project has been launched to improve livelihood, capacity building and popularise thrift among 1,000 tribal women in Anantagiri mandal.
The initiative is aimed at facilitation of collaboration through promotion and strengthening of Mutually Aided Cooperative Thrift and Credit Societies. The women will be trained on how to market better and collect more non-timber forest produce like tamarind, turmeric, amla and ginger. Value-addition and inculcating entrepreneurship will be the focus area.
Microcredit for Mothers, a Netherlands-based public charity organisation, has come forward to fund the project. It has chosen Nature, a local NGO, as the partner for implementation of the project with specific deadlines. The Anantagiri project will mostly benefit Kotia, Konda Dora, Valmiki, Bhagata and Pydi tribals.
The amount will be used as revolving fund through the Self-Help Groups. While the public charity organisation will give it at zero interest, the SHGs will collect an interest of 10 to 16 per cent per year for three years from the beneficiaries.
Bank linkages will be worked. Initially, they will be given Rs.50 lakh to Rs.80 lakh which may go up to Rs.2 crore depending on recovery and revolving. Each SHG will be given Rs.1 lakh to Rs.3 lakh. They have to meet their operational cost from the interest recovered by them and in turn circulate the collections among new loanees.
“Our aim is to enhance the skills of tribal women and help them get rid of money-lenders who fleece them a lot. Our training will lead to women empowerment in the tribal areas,” Programme Manager of Microcredit for Mothers Neils Bortej told The Hindu . He is in-charge of activities in India and Nepal.
Mr. Bortej said Microcredit for Mothers helps women in Asia to set up their own business through small loans, the opportunity to save, and professional, entrepreneurial and leadership trainings.
He said they had already launched promotion of SHGs and capacity building initiatives in Pullivendula in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh and in parts of Nepal and West Bengal and some parts of Nepal. The charity organisation has released Euros 200,000 in India in the past three to four years.
“We will also work on establishment of linkages with social development for agriculture, education, health and child welfare in the villages covered by the project,” said Nature Director S. Balaraju said.
The Anantagiri project will be implemented in Bhimpole, Gagurubilli, Gumakota, Kotturu, Kasipatnam, Kondiva and Valasi panchayats.